Road Safety News

Road Safety GB supports Halfords ‘unfair’ car seat tax campaign

Thursday 11th September 2014

Road Safety GB has come out in support of a campaign by Halfords to end the 5% VAT applied to the sale of child car seats as a result of an EU directive.

In partnership with its motoring ambassador, the model Jodie Kidd, Halfords is gathering signatures for a petition calling for the EU to abolish the 5% VAT currently added to every child car seat sold in the UK.

James Gibson from Road Safety GB said it was “strange” that VAT is applied to car seats but not to other safety equipment including motorcycle helmets, which are VAT exempt.

Halfords estimates that VAT on car seats is costing UK families more than £31 million a year. To further raise awareness of the issue Halfords is selling its entire range of car seats and boosters at prices equivalent to zero rate VAT for six weeks from 2 September to 13 October.

Jodie Kidd said: "I think it’s appalling that parents and grandparents are being penalised for trying to give their children the best start in life.

"Car safety is something I am really passionate about and abolishing the VAT on children’s car seats will save money for millions of families."

James Gibson, Road Safety GB’s director of communications, said: "Road Safety GB is very supportive of this campaign from Halfords.

“It seems strange that child car seats are not zero VAT rated when compared to other essential safety items such as motorcycle crash helmets.

“It is vital that every child uses an appropriate child car seat and any move to help reduce the costs for parents, grandparents and guardians will be warmly welcomed by road safety officers across the country."


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As older readers will recall, Purchase Tax, which VAT replaced, applied only to "luxury" items, fairly narrowly defined. In those days the idea that in 40 years the new tax would be 20% and applied to almost everything we buy, out of already-taxed income, would have seemed absurd. It still would in America where in poorer states there is no sales tax and in wealthier states as "high" as 6% to subsidise poorer states.

Being a French idea taken up by the EU and imposed on us as a condition of our (temporary) membership is quite mad, wide open to fraud and involves immense amouts of bureaucracy due to the way huge sums are both paid and reclaimed by all business other than tiny ones. Halford's ambition is set far too low, what we need is a total end not only to this mad tax but also to EU membership. We could well afford to do the former once we have done the latter as membership of the EU costs us £150bn pa.
Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield

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